List of Memoirs

I am a fan of memoirs because so much can be learned from people’s life stories. I went through a major depression last year and read the following memoirs. I gained strength and knowledge, even if I hadn’t been through the exact experience myself that the writer lived through. For more of my favorite memoirs that I do not list here, visit my Goodreads site at

Title: Don’t Stop Believin’
Author: Olivia Newton-John
Publisher: Viking Australia
Publication Date: September 10th, 2018
Format: Hardcover
Length: 366 pages

Olivia Newton-John shares her life story for the first time in detail in her new memoir. She chronicles her journey to stardom and her personal battles. Newton-John founded the Australian retreat center, Gaia, and the ONJ Centre (Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre). She is currently battling metastatic breast cancer and discusses this in detail. She is married to John Easterling and has a daughter, Chloe, from a previous marriage to Matt Lattanzi. 
Her book is a perfect read for those that are fans of Olivia Newton John. I love Grease and it was interesting to read what happened on the set of the film.
Purchase the book here from Amazon.

Title: Loving Natalee: A Mother’s Testament of Hope and Faith
Author: Beth Holloway
Publisher: Harper One
Publication Date: October 2nd, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Length: 256 pages

“This is the inside story of what occurred during the most horrific and tragic event any family could ever imagine. It has to be told because I represent every parent, and Natalee represents every young. adult. No one else should ever live this nightmare. If the words that follow will help another parent, child, young adult, or travel of any age stay safer, then it will have been well worth the writing of this book.”

-Beth Holloway, Loving Natalee

Loving Natalee is a beautiful memoir written by Beth Holloway. I remember hearing about the disappearance of Natalee my freshman year of college. I was broken hearted for her and her family. Beth Holloway writes candidly about the emotions she went through after her daughter’s disappearance and how her faith sustained her. She is a strong and courageous woman who fought so hard for Natalee against a government that covered up many details related to the case.

Beth Holloway founded the Natalee Holloway Resource Center to assist families in locating their missing loved ones. She currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama and works as a speech pathologist.

Purchase the book here from Amazon.

Title: A Serial Killer’s Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love and Overcoming
Author: Kerri Rawson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: January 29th, 2019
Format: Hardcover
Length: 336 pages

Kerri Rawson’s story is one of the most beautiful and life changing that I have ever read. She grew up in Wichita, Kansas with a seemingly normal childhood. Her family was active in the community and their church. Rawson was very close to her father, Dennis Radner. The memoir includes memories of vacation with him and how he shared her love of the outdoors. Rawson leaves to attend college where she meets her future husband. Her dad walks her down the aisle at the wedding. Her family seems happy and thriving with plenty of friends to support and love them.

A few years later, Rawson moves out of state for her husband’s job. She is sitting in their apartment one afternoon by herself when there is a knock on the door. The man is an agent with the FBI. He tells her that Dennis Radner, the man she knows as her loving father, is BTK, the notorious Wichita serial killer the police have been trying to track down for years.

Her maturity and grace show through this memoir. She speaks of how her faith helped her during some of the darkest days. Rawson has not visited with her father in jail. She has communicated to him through letters, but has not had any contact with him in a long time. She writes that she knows him as two different people. One is the loving father that would have done anything for his family. The other is the man with an evil past that she has no desire to communicate with. She prefers to remember him as the father she once knew.

Follow Kerri Rawson on Facebook.

Purchase the book here from Amazon.

Title: For Laci: A Mother’s Story of Love, Loss and Justice
Author: Sharon Rocha
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Publication Date: December 5th, 2006
Format: Paperback
Page Length: 335 pages

Sharon Rocha, mother of Laci Peterson, writes in detail about the loss of Laci and her unborn grandson, Connor, in 2002. Rocha writes truthfully about the emotions the family dealt with when there at one time beloved son-in-law, Scott Peterson, was convicted. She mentions in the memoir that she had doubts about Scott at first. He seemed too charming and too good to be true. She loved him because Laci did.

Rocha is a remarkably strong woman. She helped pass the Unborn Victims of Violence act in 2004, which makes it a crime to harm the fetus of a pregnant woman during an attack. She currently lives in California and works as a real estate agent.

Purchase the book here from Amazon.

Title: Confessions of a Prairie Bitch
Author: Alison Arngrim
Publisher: It Books
Publication Date: June 15th, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Length: 302 pages

Nellie Oleson was the character everyone loved to hate on the beloved tv show, Little House on the Prairie. What many may not know is that Alison Arngrim is the exact opposite of her character. She is funny and down to earth. Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls Wilder and the girl Nellie loved to bully, and Arngrim are best friends and stay in touch with many of the characters from the show.

Arngrim’s memoir is filled with humor and cherished moments from Little House. She also discusses the hardships she endured in her private life with her dysfunctional family and how playing her character was a form of therapy. Her brother sexually abused Arngrim for years and she was too afraid to tell anyone. She learned to be strong by playing Nellie Oleson and the cast became a second family to her.

Percival Dalton, Nellie Oleson’s husband on the tv show, passed away due to AIDS in 1986. Arngrim currently works as an AIDS activist for the organization ACT UP in honor of her friend and castmate. She also is an activist for the improvement of child protection laws and a founding board member of the National Association to Protect Children.

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch was a Goodreads Choice Nominee for Memoir and Biography in 2010.

Purchase the book here from Amazon.

Title: Where There’s Hope: Healing, Moving Forward, and Never Giving Up
Author: Elizabeth Smart
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: March 27th, 2018
Format: Hardcover
Page Length: 288 pages

Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her home at the age of 14 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was held captive by Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee for nine months until she was rescued by authorities.

Her memoir, Where There’s Hope, discusses her life since the abduction and how she healed from the trauma she endured. Smart interviews those that have faced their own challenges and have overcome. She helps individuals make peace with their own past and move forward with healing.
Smart currently works as an American child safety activist
and is a contributor for ABC News. She is the founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation which provides resources for victims and their families. Smart is married to Matthew Gilmour and they have three children. For more information, visit
Purchase the book here from Amazon.

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